There’s a contingent of right-wing extremists — including the Proud Boys — who do not want the Florida Governor to aim for the presidency.
Donald Trump is not happy about Ron DeSantis challenging him for the 2024 Republican nomination for President, so naturally some of his fans aren’t happy about it either.
Some of them are making plans to protest on Wednesday when DeSantis has an event planned at which he’s expected to make the announcement of his candidacy.
When the Proud Boys last participated in a protest over a Trump presidential opponent, it ended in destruction at the U.S. Capitol and convictions for seditious conspiracy.
This time, the proposed protest would be at a hotel in Miami, rather than at a government building in D.C., where rioters had to fight their way past Capitol Police to get into the building.
Laura Loomer, a repeat-failure GOP candidate herself — and a Trump fan — posted on her social media advising her following to “get ready,” prompting a series of responses regarding the “deep state,” DeSantis’ “handlers,” and other conspiracy theories.
She invited followers to take part in a protest, and Florida attorney Gabriel Carrera, (previously exposed for a financial connection to the Proud Boys charged in the Capitol attack) boosted her suggestion. He said:
“I hope you got those Trump 2024 flags dusted out because we may need them this Wednesday. We may have a flag wave over there near the hotel where Ron DeSantis will be declaring his candidacy for president.”
It won’t be the first time the Proud Boys have shown up and acted out at a DeSantis event — there was a restraining order issued after violence during one of his speeches last year.
Last year, after a data breach, Carrera’s email address was exposed as one connected to a donation of $1,000 to a defense fund for Proud Boys members charged for their roles in the attack on the Capitol, according to a report by The Guardian.
Proud Boys jailed for that attack have called on supporters to demand a response from DeSantis on whether he’ll be issuing pardons for them if he makes it to the White House, Newsweek reported earlier this month.
DeSantis has not answered that question so far.
It’s not clear how much of a crowd protestors can organize before Wednesday, and police and security will be forewarned and prepared for disturbances, especially after prior violence.
However, the protest plans highlight exactly how serious Trump supporters are about keeping DeSantis out of office, how offended they are at his opposing Trump, and exactly how afraid they are that he could be a significant challenge to the man they’ve placed on a shaky pedestal.
(Notice that Trump and allies have congratulated Tim Scott on his announcement that he’s running — that kind of welcome isn’t being rolled out for DeSantis.)
Miami Against Fascism documented some plans for protest in screenshots seen below.
Let the battle begin! 🤜🏻💥🤛🏻
Right-wing extremist supporters of Trump like Laura Loomer, Proud Boy Gabriel Carrera (“Attorney That Rides”) and QAnon maven Isabella Rodriguez (#RedPillBabe) are contemplating a protest outside DeSantis’ presidential announcement in Miami on Wed. pic.twitter.com/GkI0C0JGl5
— Miami Against Fascism 🌴☕️ (@MIAagainstFash) May 22, 2023